Saturday, June 7, 2008

Massages are GREAT

This morning my brother and I headed to a local day spa that had great reviews to get an hour massage. It was his birthday present from me. It was his first massage, and I hadn't had one since pre-Austin marathon. I think he enjoyed it, and as a body building guy I'm sure he needed it. I truly needed it, and had really waited to long to get one. Massages do help the muscles remain fit and recover better from the stress of being worked out. You know when the massage therapists repeats things like "Wow, that's a knot" that you are in trouble. She was great though-I mean it was a "relaxing" go to sleep massage, but she really worked my problem areas and asked for feedback so she could get it back to near homeostasis. She showed me some great stretches, and she gave my brother and I both extra time. I think I will be back and definitely cannot neglect this part of my "training." Again, sounds silly, but I know I can't, on my own, recover my muscles as I well as I should considering the stress I put them through. So, I think I'll be back after Buffalo Springs 70.3 as part of my recovery for it. It was a tough massage today, but very good. Oddly, however, she found my left shoulder/arm side to have more knots and asked me what I used it for more than my right. I told here there was nothing to attribute it to, in fact, I know I am stronger on my right than left, so who knows! But, great massage...very impressed!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Bruised Wrists and Inefficiency

Yep, I have bruised wrists and forearms right now. In class this week, since the painful OC pepperspray event, we have been learning various unarmed self-defense tactics, handcuffing procedures, weapon retention, weapon disarming, takedowns, pressure points, and strikes. Of course, in these type of classes you pair up with others and you practice on each other. Thus, I have been handcuffed, thrown on the grown, my wrists hit, etc. Of course, I've done these to others, but needless to say, shoulders, wrists, and forearms are fairly sore now. I did learn some things, so that is good.

HOWEVER, all of the classes of these type this week have been HIGHLY inefficient. The instructors weren't prepared, they were not on the same page (and this every day, not just day 1--I could give them some room day 1...), they made us (and them) take breaks every 45 minutes or so, and in general wasted a lot of time. There really wasn't one individual in charge of it all, and the first day I had endless powerpoint slides read to me. Want to get on my bad side, read me powerpoint slides. I can read quite well thank you, but what I can't do is take those way to wordy/busy slides and make them into throw downs or, you need to show me that. So don't read me slides, show me what you want me to do. Re-hash key issues while we hone our skills and learn to do it right, and if we finish early, let us go home. We have things to do, groceries to buy, dinners to cook, miles to run, and beds to sleep in, we don't need to hang around doing nothing. Needless to say, I have had to hold myself back from taking charge several times this past week! I may have "hinted" to the instructors a few times, to the side, to move things along, but I kept it mild. I will be glad to "test" tomorrow and get this part of it done.

In the efficiency vibe, there are the grocery store clerks I keep getting. They are as slow as pond water in MN in the winter. They seem to have no sense of urgency or even efficiency. Now, if I didn't personally realize how easy it is to be fast, maybe I'd be more forgiving. But, I've worked in the service industry (Chick-fil-A) and my brother and sister have worked grocery stores (Kroger and HEB respectively) and they were efficient. In fact, they took pride in being efficient. Why is it that so many people fail to take pride in what they do? Maybe myself, my friends, and my immediate family are the exceptions and that's the issue. It could be the competitive side that we all have that sometimes makes family game time a little "intense" if you will. But really, challenges drive us, pride in what we do makes us better. It's not the pride where you go around bragging about everything, but it's about making every time you do something better than the last. When I was a LT I was the company USR officer as an additional duty. I shall not bore you with the details of this mundane task, but suffice it say it required a lot of checking, double checking, i dotting, and t crossing. I then had to take it my higher HQs to turn it in and receive additional scrutiny. When I first got the duty I received little training, and turning in took forever because I had corrections, etc. Oh, and this became an all day event because I lived about an hour from where turn in was (2 different cities in Germany) the more mistakes, the longer my day. As mundane of job that this was, and as frustrating as it could be, it became my personal mission to get through turn in with NO corrections. It was like a game, and no one else was playing but me. I'm sure the HQs appreciated not having to make corrections, but in the big scheme, it reflected upon my ability, my pride in my own work, and, in my view, my ability as an officer to take a task, learn from first time mistakes, and make it better every time. That's how I work. I know expecting that from others probably isn't wise in America in this day and age, but I find that sad. Be the best at what you do, whatever it is that you do. Care, make it better, make mistakes only once, an in so doing, you will be a better person and all those you interact with will be better because of it, whether they know it or not!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Avoid this stuff...never ever good.

VIDEO LINK to the below:
There is a reason I'm using red. There is a reason they call OC Pepper Spray liquid fire. There is a reason everyone says it's worse for redheads. There is a reason that if I am ever in altercation with authorities and someone whips out the OC that I think I will give up then and there. Getting sprayed with OC today as part of my MP course was HORRIBLE!! It has been 6.5 hours and I'm still recovering--the major stuff is done, but my eyes are still slightly irritated and watery and my eye sockets are actually sore cause I think they worked really hard today.

As for being sprayed, initially it's pain and then it's an irritation, that due to my fair skin it seemed to lasts longer than it did with most folks. Just washing my hair (with swim goggles on) caused my right ear to burn again with some residual OC in the hairline. It took me about two hours till I could drive home, and all but 2 others were gone...and I went in the first 4. Someone said, afterwards, "Ma'am, your eyes are REALLY blue, I think the "red" really brings it out." It made my skin that got hit---face, part of neck, part of left arm, and my right ear glow red like the worst sunburn EVER. I'm talking tomato red, and my eyes were as blood shot as that--completely red in the whites of the eyes and yes, a pretty blue in the middle--when I could keep them open. After we got hit we had to go and apply knee kicks to one subject (holding a bag) and then palm strikes to another and then try and find a blue "dummy gun" and train it on the subjects and keep them down. Then we sprinted to the water hoses--with the aid of a buddy, which is good, cause I would've never found it myself. Then I stood, literally holding my eyes open in the wind because there are only 3 things you can do as 1st Aid for OC--time, ventilation, and water. The pain, I don't think, was worse for me as a redhead--just the length of time with which it stays with me was significantly longer. I will never lose this certification card, and if I can avoid ever being sprayed again, I will. It was really horrible. Granted, I think I may buy some mace/OC of my own to carry cause I know that if I ever needed to protect myself and didn't want to kill 'em or didn't have my pistol on me, this is going to incapacitate just about everyone for a decent period of time. The pain on the skin is like a bad sunburn, which I've had...I can fight through that. Unfortunately, unlike a sunburn, aloe or other lotions/salves would just trap it in my body, which is bad. It is an imflammatory agent, not just an irritant. The worst part was the bit that gets in the mouth and causes breathing to be difficult, and even worse was the burning in the eyes. Eyes don't get sunburned. I did do well and didn't rub it into my eyes after getting hit. They call it pepper spray because it is made out of concentrated Habenero and Cayanne peppers. Habeneros on their own rank somewhere on the 300,000 hotness scale that some guy derived. OC pepper spray that they hit us with, 5.5% (many PD's carry higher concentrate), is like 1.5 MILLION on that same scale. So, if you have eaten that spicy stuff and felt that burn, MULTIPLY it to the 1.5 million mark...yeah, this is bad. I think I'm rambling because my eyes are still all watery and my eye sockets are actually really tired and worn out--similiar to say my legs or arms being sore after a long ride/run or swim. Don't get sprayed with OC if you can avoid it.